Toni 1935
Fans of Jean Renoir will rush to see something ‘new’ from the great director; this very different Renoir picture sees him filming in the South of France, among regional laborers that bring their Italian and Spanish customs with them. It’s a tragedy about a crime of passion, all shot outside of a film studio, without big stars or glamorous trappings.

Shot on location and using mostly untrained actors, the movie begins as Toni (Charles Blavette) arrives in the South of France from Italy, looking for work. He finds lodging with Marie (Jenny Helia) and lands a job in a quarry. Some time later, he has become Marie's lover, more out of convenience than passion. But when he meets the Spanish Josefa (Celia Montalvan), he falls deeply for her; they share an incredibly sensuous scene in which he plucks a wasp stinger from her back and sucks out the poison. Unfortunately, Toni's monstrous boss Albert (Max Dalban) rapes Josefa, and she winds up marrying him instead. The melodramatic story culminates with money, a murder, and a tragedy.

Director: Jean Renoir
Cast: Charles Blavette, Celia Montalvan, Jenny Helia
Country: France
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:24:51 | 44.6 Gb + 3% rec
Language: French
Subtitles: English


Commentary stems from 2006 and features Kent Jones and Phillip Lopate. It does provide a wealth of background and production information.

Introduction by Jean Renoir (1080i; 2:50) is from 1961. In French with English subtitles.

Cineastes de Notre Temps (1080p; 1:38:25) is an interesting 1967 archival piece done for French television by Jacques Rivette featuring both Jean Renoir and Charles Blavette. In French with English subtitles.

Christopher Faulkner (1080p; 25:14) is a great 2020 analysis of the film by Renoir ' scholar Faulkner. This is narrated by Jen Cohn.